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Hypothesis vs. Assumption: What's the Difference?

Edited by Harlon Moss || By Janet White || Published on December 15, 2023
A hypothesis is a testable prediction or explanation in science, while an assumption is an accepted belief or premise without proof.

Key Differences

A hypothesis is a proposed explanation for a phenomenon, used as a starting point for further investigation. An assumption, however, is a belief taken as true without verification, often used to simplify complex situations.
In scientific research, a hypothesis must be testable and falsifiable, forming the basis for experiments. Assumptions are not necessarily testable; they are accepted as true to facilitate analysis or argumentation.
Hypotheses are often grounded in some preliminary evidence or theoretical framework. Assumptions, on the other hand, may lack concrete evidence and can be based on general beliefs or common knowledge.
The purpose of a hypothesis is to be subjected to empirical testing and validation. Assumptions serve to establish foundational premises for reasoning or decision-making, often without the intent for direct testing.
In practice, a hypothesis can evolve or change based on experimental results. Assumptions tend to remain constant within the context they are applied and are not typically modified by empirical evidence.

Comparison Chart


Testable explanation
Accepted belief without proof

Role in Research

Basis for experiments
Underlying premise


Based on preliminary evidence
May lack concrete evidence


For empirical testing
For facilitating analysis


Can evolve with new data
Often remains constant

Hypothesis and Assumption Definitions


Proposed Explanation.
Her hypothesis explained the chemical reaction.


Unverified Belief.
The assumption was that all customers prefer online shopping.


Research Foundation.
The study was based on a complex hypothesis.


Basis for Argument.
Her argument was based on a fundamental assumption.


Scientific Prediction.
The hypothesis was that temperature affects plant growth.


Implicit Premise.
The project's success rested on several assumptions.


Testable Statement.
They formulated a hypothesis for the experiment.


Starting Point.
They made an assumption about the market trends.


Theory Precursor.
His hypothesis later evolved into a theory.


Underlying Idea.
His plan included the assumption of steady growth.


A tentative explanation for an observation, phenomenon, or scientific problem that can be tested by further investigation.


The act of taking to or upon oneself
Assumption of an obligation.


Something taken to be true for the purpose of argument or investigation; an assumption.


The act of taking possession or asserting a claim
Assumption of command.


What is a hypothesis?

A testable prediction or explanation in science.

How is a hypothesis used in experiments?

As a basis for designing and interpreting results.

What is an assumption?

An accepted belief or premise without proof.

Can a hypothesis be proven?

It can be supported or refuted through testing.

Are assumptions always false?

Not necessarily; they are unverified but can be true.

Is a hypothesis necessary in research?

Most scientific research starts with a hypothesis.

Can assumptions change?

They are generally fixed within their context.

What makes a good hypothesis?

It should be clear, testable, and falsifiable.

Do assumptions need evidence?

No, they are accepted without needing proof.

Can a hypothesis become a theory?

Yes, if repeatedly supported by evidence.

What happens if a hypothesis is disproved?

It leads to revisions or new hypotheses.

Are assumptions helpful in problem-solving?

Yes, they simplify and provide a starting point.

Is a hypothesis always correct?

Not necessarily; it's a starting point for testing.

Can assumptions bias research?

Yes, if not identified and critically examined.

Are assumptions part of everyday decision-making?

Yes, often in a simplified form for practicality.

Do assumptions vary in different fields?

Yes, depending on the field's nature and context.

Why are assumptions necessary in modeling?

They provide a simplified framework for complex systems.

How does one test a hypothesis?

Through controlled experiments or observational studies.

Can an assumption be challenged?

Yes, especially if new information contradicts it.

How does a hypothesis drive scientific inquiry?

It guides the direction and methods of investigation.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.

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